How Is A Lip Reduction Done?

Q: Does Dr. Eppley have experience with lip reduction procedures (making lips smaller instead of fuller? How is the surgery done and how successful is it?

A: The number of requests for lip augmentations exceeds the number for lip reductions by about 1000:1. Every request that I have ever had for a lip reduction is almost always in an ethnic patient, most commonly African-Americans although not exclusively so. I usually perform about six or eight cosmetic lip reductions per year, if you are counting lips and not patients. Lip reduction is done by removing a wedge of lip tissue at the junction of what is known as the wet-dry vermilion. This is a very distinct line of demarcation between your dry vermilion (pink part of the lip that is seen on the outside) and where the wet mucosa begins on the inside of your lip. That area is easy to see when you roll your lip outward. The dry vs wet part of the lip is quote obvious. This is where the incision line is placed most of the time. The actual part of the lip that is reduced is the dry vermilion. Usually about 5 to 7mms is removed in the central area of the lip and then it tapers outward towards the corner of the mouth. (commissure) The lip is then rolled back and closed so that the visible part is reduced and the scar remains behind in a more inconspicuous area. The key in lip reduction is not to overdo it or remove too much. There is no way to put back lip tissue. One can always remove more later if quite not enough has been removed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana